England health service suffers fresh strike

Thousands of medical consultants working in England for the country’s National Health Service went on strike Tuesday over below-inflation pay offers and heavy workloads.

They plan to carry out industrial action also on Wednesday alongside junior doctors in the first joint strike seen by the NHS in its 75-year history.

This week’s walkouts follow almost 18 months of regular stoppages by public and private-sector workers, notably also train drivers and teachers, in the wake of soaring inflation.

Despite falling gradually since late last year, UK annual inflation remains elevated at 6.8 percent, the highest in the G7 group of rich nations.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has claimed that the level of pay increases demanded by workers would worsen the inflation situation.

At the start of the year when UK inflation was about 10 percent, the Conservative party leader pledged to halve the rate by the end of 2023.

However the task of cooling the rate of consumer-price rises is largely down to the independent Bank of England raising interest rates, which it is widely forecast to do once more on Thursday following a regular policy meeting.

Before then, the latest UK inflation data is due on Wednesday.



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